“A very difficult time, you say. A very very difficult time.”
June 28, 2015 5:27 AM   Subscribe

The Detainee’s Tale by Ali Smith Over the last few weeks, writer Ali Smith has taken part in the Refugee Tales project, a group of volunteers who befriend and support immigration detainees. This is her response:
So: the first thing you remember knowing is that there isn’t any more school. Your mother dies when you are three, you don’t remember. You never see your father, so you can’t remember him. You know, from being told, that your father’s family fought with your mother’s family; his were Hausa, hers were Christian. So you get given by your father’s family to a man in the village and for a short while there’s school under the great big tree, where you sit in the shade on the ground and the teacher sits on a seat and you get taught letters and reading. Then the school has to have money so the man you’ve been given to takes you to the farm. You are six years old. There is definitely no school on the farm.
Story contains descriptions of trauma/distress.
posted by Fizz (4 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
From the story:
What kind of a life are we living when a piece of paper can mean and say more about your life than your life does?
It is not an easy read but I think its important to listen/witness these types of stories and accounts. A heart-breaking read. I found myself getting very emotional over this particular story
posted by Fizz at 6:23 AM on June 28, 2015

That's a very shameful thing to read. I wish I had more influence over what can be done about this.
posted by ambrosen at 8:37 AM on June 28, 2015

ambrosen, You could always write your municipal and federal government representatives and ask them what they are doing to prevent these types of horror stories from happening. And there is also a link on the Refugee Tales project site where you can donate and volunteer. I made a donation.
posted by Fizz at 8:50 AM on June 28, 2015

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